A Bear of a Tale
Date Added: Jun. 24, 2003
Bear attacks are fairly rare, and people who survive them even more scarce, so it's not often we get to see photographs of a bear who lost its match against a human. Its for this reason that this chain is so popular. While most of the photos are real, time has mutilated the accompanying story beyond recognition.
Subject: FW: BIG BEAR
This is so extreme....
Subject: FW: BIG BEAR "Ehhhh..."
This is disturbring. Look at the size of the paw!! The following pictures are of a man who works for the Forest Service in Alaska. He was out deer hunting and a large world record Grizzly charged him from about 50 yards away. The guy unloaded a 7mm Mag Semi-auto Into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. The bear was still alive so He reloaded and capped it in the head. It was over one thousand six hundred pounds and 12' 6" high at the shoulder. It's a world record. The bear had killed a couple of people. Of course, the game department did not let him keep it.
Think about it. This thing on its hind legs could walk up to the Average single story house and could look on the roof at eye level. Also his last meal was human.
The first two photos are legitimate images of a giant grizzly brought down by a hunter in Alaska. However, the accompanying story is about another hunter and another bear.
On October 14, 2001, U.S. Air Force Airman Theodore Winnen was deer-hunting on Hinchinbrook Island, Prince William Sound when he and his hunting buddy, Staff Sgt. James Urban. spotted the bear. Effectively cloaked by their camouflage hunting gear, the pair had plenty of time to take their shot. The first bullet from Winnen's 338 Winchester pierced the brain, but it took five more in the chest to bring him down. The first two photos above were taken by Urban and were posted on several hunting boards and shared among hunting enthusiasts. The bear was 10 1/2 feet long and weighed more than half a ton - Big, but not a record.
Six months later, Sigfredo Casiano, was hiking in Alaska and had a similar experience with a large bear. Casiano claims he found himself about 10 feet from the animal when the beast started moving toward him. His first shot brought the bear down, but he fired several more shots, probably to make sure. In this case, the bear was a brown bear, not a grizzly, and between eight and nine feet tall.
Because of the temporal closeness of these two accounts, the two stories became confused. Eventually, the picture of Winnen became associated with the story of Casiano. The confusion was frustrated by National Forest Service officials who mistakenly identified the photos to be from Casiano's story.
If that weren't bad enough, some joker along the line decided to embellish the story with a gruesome prologue, complete with photographic evidence. While the origins of the third picture remain unknown, we do know that it has nothing to do with either Winnen's or Casiano's bear encounters. It was added nearly a year after the most popular version of the chain began circulating. In fact, there is no evidence in either case that the bears had ever attacked humans.
This one may have been pulled from the headlines, but it has nearly completely left the realm of the real and moves farther away from the truth with every forward. Break this chain.
References: About.com, Snopes.com